tv Jansing and Co. MSNBC February 27, 2013 7:00am-8:00am PST
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♪ got the coffee. that was fast. we're outta here. ♪ [ engine revs ] ♪ good morning. i'm chris jansing. developing now on capitol hill, some big movement on gun control. just as a new poll shows americans want tougher regulations. senator dianne feinstein is holding a judiciary committee hearing on her bill to ban assault weapons. the panel will hear from law enforcement and the father of a 6-year-old boy killed in the newtown, connecticut school massacre. that tragedy of course sparked a major push by democrats and president obama to crack down on gun violence. as this hearing gets under way there is word a bipartisan group of senators is close to hammering out a deal to expand
gun background checks though those talks stalled over record keeping. the support is out there. this is our new nbc news/"wall street journal" poll. 61% want stricter gun laws. let's bring in our guests. good morning to both of you. >> good morning. >> hi, chris. karen, the poll shows that the win is essentially at the back of advocates for new gun laws but can they use the public sentiment to their advantage and if so how? >> i think the senate is still a very tough lift on these, particularly on the assault weapons ban. i think, you know, most people think realistically the only thing that could happen is the legislation on background checks. you know, these national poll numbers really don't give you a very good reflection of, you know, the united states senate, where, you know, it's -- people from rural states have the sort of disproportionate influence in
the senate. it's 100 senators, two from each state and the national poll numbers don't reflect the political reality a lot of these guys see at home. >> i'm wondering since it has been generally accepted background checks were more likely than the assault weapons ban how bad is the sticking point they have? are they likely to push through it? >> it is pretty significant. tom coburn the republican from oklahoma is really key to these talks. chuck schumer the new york democrat is trying to get coburn onboard. he is opposed to any sort of requirement for folks doing the background checks to keep those records. he does not want that. if that ends up in the bill coburn could bolt and with him would be a number of republicans who could presumably vote for it. he is key. how they resolve this in next week and a half before the judicial committee ends up reporting on this bill in their committee the following thursday, that is going to be very, very critical on whether
they can get this through the senate. >> i wonder how much the sequester fight might have to do with all this. depends on how much they're focused on one thing. does it slow them down from accomplishing something else, karen? >> i think that it's -- it diverts the focus but it also kind of poisons the atmosphere of trust. when you have something really contentious like the sequester going on, it does not foster a climate where people can get together on other issues as well. >> our poll also finds support for the nra is steady. it's about 42%. meantime new york city's mayor michael bloomberg who has been fighting the nra is on capitol hill today. millions of dollars from his super pac helped stop an nra backed candidate in the democratic primary to replace former congressman jesse jackson jr. what is your sense manu? how much influence could bloomberg have on the hill and what role might he play in this? >> i think he has a lot of
influence and last night's race in the house district in chicago was very important in that regard. that was one democratic district in a democratic urban area. when you're talking about bloomberg's influence among a lot of red state democrats in arkansas, alaska, louisiana, states in which senators will have key votes on gun control, but who are very close to the nra, who are opposed to tighter regulations, that support from bloomberg or his influence is not as strong. so he has a lot of influence among members who are close to him on the gun control issue but democrats from rural state is not so much. >> and we just talked with karen about how the atmosphere overall could affect this gun debate and there has been a lot of partisan debate over the sequester. we did just get word that president obama is going to host a meeting with speaker boehner, minority leader pelosi, senate majority leader reid, and minority leader mcconnell at the
white house on friday to talk sequester. so let me bring in senator bernie sanders, independent from vermont. good to see you, senator. good morning. >> good to be with you. >> what do you make of this new development? do you think it could lead to some sort of breakthrough? >> i certainly hope so. i think there is nobody who believes the sequestration makes a lot of sense. the fact is that if we went forward in this way, the economy would contract. we'd lose about 700,000 jobs at a time when we're in the midst of a severe recession. we'd cut programs a lot of working families and low income people need. i would hope that people get their act together and that we don't go over this cliff. >> well, our new poll finds that more than half of americans think that these automatic spending cuts are a bad idea. only 21% think they're a good idea. the poll also finds that negotiations make 51% feel less confident about the economy. we've seen some wild swings on wall street these past few days. besides the things that may be immediate, for example we see people losing jobs, how worried
are you about how nervous it makes the average consumer or the titans on wall street? >> look. it speaks to dysfunctionality in washington. i think that loses a confidence on the part of millions of people. and the sad part here, chris, is the american people are pretty strong on what they believe. it is not only opposition to sequestration. they understand that working families throughout this country are really hurting, that many large corporations one out of four doesn't pay a nickel in taxes. we're losing a hundred billion dollars a year through tax havens in the cayman islands and elsewhere, where corporations stash their money. the american people are not divided on the issue. they don't want to see cuts in social security, medicare, education, and other important programs. they do want to ask the wealthy and large corporations to stop paying their fair share. it's unfortunate that congress is not listening. >> i'm guessing you're hearing anecdotally what i hear. people ask me all the time why are these people not sitting down and talking to each other
to get this thing done? senator pat toomey talked about the lack of negotiatinnegotiati. let me play it for you. >> i would go to camp david or anywhere else if the president wants to meet and try to work this out. i'd be happy to do it. i spent a lot of time trying to get a solution on the super committee and i'm trying to make progress now. what i wouldn't agree to is just kicking this can down the road yet again. >> we know that the president now is going to meet with the leadership. do you sense on capitol hill, senator, that there is more of a sense of urgency now that the clock is ticking down? >> well, of course there is. but what senator toomey has to answer is, is he prepared to ask the wealthiest people, large corporations, to contribute more revenue? as you may know, that in terms of corporate profits right now the taxes that corporations pay is the lowest we've seen since 1972. you can have all the talk you want but if the question is, well, we'll cut social security, medicare, medicaid, you make the decision, but we're not going to ask the wealthy or large corporations to contribute more
you can talk till the cows come home. it doesn't make a lot of sense. revenue today at 15.8% is the lowest it has been in 6 o years. i would hope senator toomey would be talking about more revenue. then we can begin to get someplace. >> as you know most republicans are not talking about more revenue. let me ask you about this draft bill being circulated by senate republicans. they want to cancel the $85 billion in budget cuts and turn the authority over to the president to let him make the cuts. what's going on there? >> obviously everybody knows what is going on there. it's a game. the president himself becomes the bad guy. he owns the sequestration and is the guy blamed for cutting defense or head start. here is the issue. the issue is, when we have enormous income and wealth and ewalt, wealthy doing phenomenally well, middle class shrinking, who is going to help us in deficit reduction? do you really want to cut head start? do you want to cut food inspection? do you want to cut education and health care? or should billionaires start paying their fair share of
taxes? chris, that is the $64 question. the american people are on our side. republicans in this case are representing the very wealthy against the trust of the american people. >> senator bernie sanders, always good to see you. thanks so much. >> thank you. >> let me bring back manu and karen. talk a little more about this plan. >> well, what it would do is it would force the republicans, force president obama to come up with the 85 billion in cuts himself, detail how he would do that by march 8. at that point, congress would have a chance to vote it down. assuming it does not vote it down, then that would become law. whatever obama proposes. now, i should caution that this is being pushed by pat toomey, jim a. naughton has a lot of support from the senate republican conference but it has opposition from senate republicans, too, including from the likes of john mccain, who don't want to see that much power go to the president. they're circulating an
alternative plan that would cut from federal employee retirement benefits, food stamps and other measures in order to get to that $85 billion in cuts. there is no unanimity among senate republicans but as we know as we're seeing right now none of this is going to pass anyway this week. we'll probably head into the sequester and then when it comes time to negotiate, the continuing resolution, and avert a government shutdown on march 27th. >> one of the things we've seen over the last couple weeks, karen, is increasing nervousness by governors all around the country. new jersey's chris christie took aim at washington during his budget address yesterday. i want to play a little clip of that. >> their failure to take on the nation's budget challenges and address the unsustainability of the nation's long-term liabilities is nothing short of inexcusable. it's pastime for washington to get its act together. that will take two things. bipartisanship and leadership. unfortunately, both seem missing
in washington today. >> let me sort of bring this full circle, karen. i don't think there are a lot of people who would disagree with what chris christie had to say there but this meeting the president is going to have with the leadership, can it change things? is either side really in a negotiating mood? >> no. i think everybody at this point is quite resigned to the fact that this sequester is going to happen. and there is, remains a real question of whether people really will feel it in their personal lives, in their daily living. at least in the near term a lot of the big cuts, for instance the cuts to education, are really not going to affect this school year. they will affect the kinds of decisions that are made beginning in may or june for the next school year. a number of the other cuts, there is money that goes to state and local governments they may have time to adjust. so there remains the question of what happens if the sequester
takes effect and at least in the near term nobody really cares. that could change the political leverage. >> thanks to both of you. >> thank you. >> right now the supreme court is hearing arguments on the voting rights act of 1965. it was originally put into effect to stop discrimination against minority voters. the justices will decide if it is still relevant and constitutional today. now a group of house democrats and activists gathered on the steps of the supreme court today. defenders say new voter i.d. laws and dozens of states prove that the voting rights act is still needed. listen to politics nation host al sharpton and congressman and civil rights icon john lewis. >> last year the voter i.d. laws and the long lines and the ending early voting and stopping sunday forthe polls showed that
jim crow's son james q. crow esquire is still trying to do what his daddy did and that's rob us of the right to vote. >> there are still forces in this country that want to take us back to another period but we're not going back. we still need section 5 and that is why we're here today standing up for the voting rights of all americans. we must never give up, never give in, never give out. time for the your business entrepreneurs of the week. new york firefighters scott edwards and tim keenan saw their entrepreneurial dreams crushed when hurricane sandy destroyed their store surfside bagels. as the waters receded our your business makeover team advanced and now they're back open for business. for more, watch "your business" sunday mornings at 7:30 on msnbc. ♪ [ male announcer ] from the way the bristles move to the way they clean,
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parents. of course we know the cardinals will meet march 4th to decide the exact date of the conclave that will pick the next pope. let me bring in my guests. thanks to both of you for being with us. >> thank you. and thanks for getting up so early this morning to cover all of this. >> believe me, it was my pleasure. i had father barren with me. we listened to it together. you know, i said this this morning for people who weren't up at 3:00 or 4:00 in the morning. it was a very personal set of remarks from this pope. give us what you thought were the headlines here. >> you mentioned the pope kissing babies. i've been to many of those audiences over the years. he has never done that. in his talk he mentioned that he is the papa, the father of the catholic family. so i saw a line between what he did on the way in and the talk he gave which you're right was
very personal. it was a spiritual talk, talking about his spiritual fatherhood. it was about a father saying good-bye to his family. this was much more from the heart. >> and a little bit in the speech about a defense of his decision to step down. we are hearing there's been increasing criticism in rome in particular about people questioning whether they should break that tradition and what precedence it sets. >> my thought is it was a very courageous decision on his part and in some ways the most modernizing move this pope made, as many have noted. it is a way of saying, look. this is at some level a sacred office but it is also an office of leadership in the church and if you feel like it is -- you can't carry out that office the way you'd like to, resignation is quite proper.
i was also struck by the fact that he really acknowledged difficulties in the church. he used the word difficult twice depending on the translation you look at. he spoke of moments of joy and life but also difficult moments. he said god guides his church and maintains her always and especially at difficult times. and that very touching reference to jesus falling asleep on the boat with the disciples. now, yes, jesus eventually wakes up but i think all of this spoke to a pope who is very aware that the church faces enormous problems right now and i think he thought that allowing the election of a new pope might be a way to move toward the solution to some of these very serious difficulties the church has in the vatican and around the world. >> because without a doubt he is handing over a church that is vibrant in many parts of the world, father, particularly in africa and latin america but also has some clouds hanging over it. the leaks and the documents there and of course the presex abuse scandal.
what are they going to look for in the next pope? >> i think they'll be looking for someone with that governing ability. we talk about priest, prophet, king. the last two popes have been very strong in the priestly, sanctity fiing element and also the pro-fetic, the teaching eleme element. >> great intellectuals. >> absolutely. but also the governing element. to take control, allow for more transparency, more accountability, and get control of the -- this problem. it's been a nightmare since 2002. we haven't entirely awoken from that nightmare. i think the church has to do more and more to address it. that will be a very high thing on the list of priorities for the new pope. >> tomorrow we'll see the pope meet with cardinals and then he'll leave in a helicopter. officially he has no role. he says he is going to essentially disappear into a life of prayer. but i wonder if you're the next pope are you going to give him a call and get a little friendly advice? is this like former presidents? >> it isn't exactly like the
chicago machine where he can direct his committeemen to vote a certain way. but he did appoint i think the number is 67 of the 115 who are expected to vote in this conclave. my sense is that whereas the last time benedict went in as an overwhelming favorite, because he had a very solid block of conservative votes and a lot of cardinals who felt some day their day would come felt having benedict there in the meantime might open the way for them. i think this time the votes may be much more scattered and you could have a longer conclave and that could lead to a surprising choice. >> well, we may be there a while. e.j. you need to get over there. thank you so much for being with us. it was a remarkable, historic morning and great to have a conversation with both of you. thanks. >> good to be with you. >> at this hour secretary of state john kerry is headed to rome but he is going for high level talks on the crisis in syria.
tomorrow he'll meet with representatives from the syrian opposition and other key western countries about how the deal wi -- how to deal with the president assad. >> that may -- he needs to know he can't shoot his way out of this. >> the u.s. is reportedly nearing a decision on whether to provide assistance to rebels fighting the regime of the syrian president. that make ki. and even fewer that make moms happy too. with wholesome noodles and bite sized chicken, nothing brings you together like chicken noodle soup from campbell's. it's amazing what soup can do. that's not much, you think. except it's 2% every year. go to e-trade and find out how much our advice and guidance costs. spoiler alert: it's low. it's guidance on your terms, not ours. e-trade. less for us. more for you.
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. to politics now where it looks like there is progress for a change on two issues congress is dealing with. first the violence against women act. the house will allow a vote on the senate version of the bill. it expired in september of 2011 and the senate passed the latest version, 78-22, with every republican female senator voting for it. the bill has been held up over the addition of protectionforce native americans and lbgt individuals.
the other good news immigration. senators john mccain and lindsay graham released a glowing statement after their meeting at the white house yesterday saying, quote, we had an excellent meeting with the president and vice president. we were pleased to hear the president state his firm commitment he will do whatever is necessary to accomplish this important goal. a liberal super pac is apologizing to mitch mcconnell and his wife. former labor secretary elaine cho. progress kentucky tweeted racist comments about her heritage in a statement the group wrote weerks apologize to the secretary for that unnecessary comment and have deleted the tweets in question. mcconnell's possible senate challenger ashley judd tweeted this. whatever the intention, whatever the venue, whom ever the person, attacks or comments on anyone's ethnicity are wrong and patently unacceptable. certainly sounds like she is running but officially ashley judd has not yet made up her mind. remember mitt romney and his binders full of women? now it's a jeopardy category.
>> and a binder full of women. >> a binder full of women for 400. >> she's the 111th justice of the supreme court. keith? >> who is sonia sotomayor. >> and if you read only one thing this morning i don't know if you've seen these computer programs. you send in the picture of a man and woman and it comes up with a picture of what their baby would look like. now a geneticist is giving us a glimpse into the royal baby of kate and william courtesy of "time" magazine. you have to see these picture. up on our facebook page at facebook/jansingco. [ chuckles ] yo, give it up, dude! up high... ok. up high... ok. high! up high!!! ok ok that's getting pretty old. don't you have any useful apps on that thing? who do you think i am, quicken loans? [ chuckles ] at quicken loans, our amazingly useful mortgage calculator app allows you to quickly calculate your mortgage payment
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criticism of the iraq war. let me bring in republican strategist and former santorum senior strategist and nbc col n columnist and contributing editor for the hill. good morning. he has to confront a staggering $46 billion in cuts to military spending which are set to begin tomorrow. he's got his work cut out for him. >> he really does. part of the reason the president selected chuck hagel was knowing going forward the defense department would have to undergo cuts anyhow. obviously the sequester makes that a lot tougher process because it is, you know, these cuts are much less strategic obviously than what we would have preferred. he also comes in after having a tough few weeks, a little bloodied i think and some of that was intended not so much to go after hagel but to try to go after the president and,
thankfully, they were unsuccessful and hagel will start the job and roll up his sleeves and get right to it. >> getting bloody is kind of a common sport but in a situation like this does it heal and you move on and you work together or does he have a tougher road to hoe? >> first of all, i disagree with karen a little bit. i don't think this was about the president. i think this was about some very serious concerns that a lot of republicans have had about some comments that chuck hagel made in the past. therefore confirmation of a defense secretary should be tough. it is an important job. the process is over. there needs to be shown that there is unity coming from america in defense and it is important we move on and do it together. >> the things that we heard about were number one completely unsubstantiated, made up by a new york daily news reporter. it was about talking points. somebody who has a loved one deploying to afghanistan for the fifth time in two weeks, i'm
disappointed we didn't hear hardly anything about what the plan for afghanistan is. instead we heard about questions of who changed talking points back in september which had nothing to do with chuck hagel. >> does she have a point, john? >> i understand that. i think there should have been more conversations about afghanistan. but a big part of this was about iran. let me tell you, america has big problems. we have, you know, the debt. we have stagnant economy. you want to turn those into small problems very quickly you let iran have a nuclear bomb and there were things that chuck hagel said, such as taking preemptive strike off the table in the negotiations. i think that is a terrible position to have. >> bill kristol and other conservatives see this long, prolonged nomination process that is now over as kind of a victory. bill kristol wrote we do believe as a result of this battle mr. hagel will be less free to pursue dangerous policies at the defense department and less inclined to advocate them within
the administration. did the republicans gain something here? >> i don't believe so. if anything, i think that chuck hagel is probably more determined than ever to carry out the wishes of the president and be a good adviser to the president. when you have republicans like john mccain suggesting that part of the reason they wanted to hold up his nomination for another 12 days or so is because they didn't like the fact that he was mean to president bush or didn't agree with president bush. i mean, that makes it very clear that most of those criticisms were pretty ridiculous and partisan and very personal and not substantive. >> there was an interesting article by ezra klein today in his blog. i don't know if you saw it. but it looked at the history of various wars and how much defense budgets were cut after these wars. they tend to be in the 30s and even 40% cuts whereas he says this defense cut by the sequester will be about 31%. how worried you about the way
this is going to be applied? >> i am worried not just because of sequestration but also you have a president and secretary of defense now also interested in just cuts in general. you know, a lot of conservatives and republicans believe the number one priority of the federal government is to protect this country and that you start first with the federal budget that gives secretary what he needs, not start cutting there so we can waste money somewhere else. >> the point ezra was trying to make and again i don't know if you saw it, but when wars end whether it's the cold war or the korean war, you know, defense budgets get cut. >> they do. but again, the president talked about in his budget last year the importance of looking to the future and seeing what are the things that we -- what does our military need going forward? what are we spending money on right now that doesn't make sense anymore? think about cyber terrorism and cyber warfare. how do we make sure we're prepared for those kinds of things? i mean, he made the joke during
the debates and the campaign about bayonets but it is true. we have to look at the budget and say, what does our military need to be a modern force? what kind of changes need to be made? what are the implications? stop just sort of trying to -- too often the defense is pork. this plane is made in this district and it's jobs for that district. maybe that isn't what the military needs right now. >> there was a defense analyst from the american enterprise institute who predicted hagel will actually not have a lot of clout because this is his opinion. president obama has made the role of defense secretary less significant by taking a leading role in national security policy from the white house, do you buy that? >> i sure hope that is not the case. to be honest i have a lot more confidence in chuck hagel than the president when it comes to defense. there is so much instability in
the world. when you look at egypt and libya and syria and iran, rapidly moving toward a nuclear bomb, to some sense to say we're in this post war era where things are rosie i think is wrong. we always need to be prepared. >> the point is what we need in terms of what we need in terms of how we deal with the changing threats is different. maybe what we don't need is thousands of troops but we need a smaller complement of troops and we need to have a strategy that also includes, you know, civilian as well as a state department as well as intelligence forces working together in a very different way than we've seen before to confront these new challenges. >> karen finney, john brayvender, we are out of time. thanks to both of you. we appreciate it. >> thank you. >> while we keep our eye on that ceremony at the pentagon, let's check the news feed this morning. startling new video from that fatal hot air balloon crash in egypt yesterday. a witness captured the tourist
balloon just after it burst into flames. you can see the trail of smoke coming from the balloon before it fell a thousand feet to the ground. 19 people were killed. oscar pistorius held a private memorial service for his girlfriend the 29-year-old model he is accused of killing. the service was at his uncle's home where he has been staying since being released on bail. a public relations agency representing pistorius says he, quote, remains in deep mourning for the loss of his partner. and now let's go back to the pentagon where chuck hagel has taken to the podium. [ inaudible ] >> so he is having some audio problems or we are with the feed but we'll take a quick break and be back with more right after this. hi i'm terry, and i have diabetic nerve pain.
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be careful. the results from a study of 35,000 hip replacement surgeries show women are more likely to need further procedures on hip implants after surgery than their male counterparts. researchers hope the data will help better manage patients and create better implants. >> we're going back to the pentagon. the brand new secretary of defense chuck hagel is making remarks to service members and civilians. >> i will tell you that, as i told the president and congress that i will do everything in my power to be the kind of leader that you expect and you deserve.
also the kind of leader the country expects and deserves. we are living in a very defining time in the world. you all know that. it's a difficult time, a time of tremendous challenge. but there are opportunities and i think it's important that we all stay focused obviously on our jobs our responsibilities which are immense but not lose sight of the possibilities for the world. if there is one thing america has stood for more than any one thing it is that we are a force for good. we make mistakes. we've made mistakes. we'll continue to make mistakes. but we are a force for good. and we should never forget that and always keep it out in front as much as any one thing that drives us every day. as difficult as our jobs are.
budget, sequestration, and i don't need to dwell on the good news now. we need to figure it out. you have been doing that. we need to deal with this reality. we have ahead of us a lot of challenges. they are going to define much of who we are. not this institution only but our country. what kind of a world our children are going to inherit. that is the big challenge we have. that is the bigger picture of the objective for all of us. yes it's difficult. but it's also pretty special. when you think about generations, in how many generations have had an opportunity to be part of something great. as difficult as this is with everything, challenges coming at us, different kinds of challenges, cyber issues, you
know all of them. we can really do something pretty special. >> chuck hagel the new defense secretary talking about the possibilities and the challenges and he may have a big one ahead assuming the sequester goes into effect tomorrow. nobody will get hit harder than defense but a growing number of women as well are very concerned about how they would be impacted by those across-the-board cuts and they have good reason. head start, title one, women's domestic violence programs, health programs, all will be slashed. special government nutrition programs will be forced to cut 600,000 beneficiaries. i'm joined by i village chief correspondent kelly wallace and leah from marie claire magazine. these cuts could leave a lot of children and women at risk. >> they will. women are disproportionately affected by the cuts. the meat cleaver type cuts sequestration will bring. we're talking about food, nutrition, health care, cervical cancer, breast cancer kind of
screenings, things like that. these are the programs that don't fall under the sacred cows that generally can't be touched when there are massive budget cuts. these are the programs people tend to brush off to the side. they're smaller, not biggies. they're not as sexy as some of the others. they tend to fall by the way side and hurt women. >> you know what, as you're talking about that, what is so sad is they will be disproportionately affecting lower income women. when you talk about some 70,000 kids might not be able to go to head start. what if their moms don't have child care? they might have to forego a paycheck. 600,000 women and children affected in this supplemental nutrition program. i am so frustrated by it. this is so not the way for our government to be working and it is really outrageous that low income women, the most disadvantaged people in the country might be the most affected. >> i have never seen this statistic before that 60% of minimum wage workers are women.
and just by the nature of the beast if you are a low income person, it's very difficult to have a voice. >> right. >> and when we talk about this community in particular we tend to think of foodstamps which will be affected. we tend to think of the government services for health care. we're also talking about, think about this, college work study programs. people trying to put themselves through school. we're talking about federal services for rape kits. things like that, things that every woman has a stake in and should be infuriated about. >> education a big headline. there are suggestions some of these will be phased in slowly so we might not feel the full impact at first so you wonder if there will be a public hue and cry. >> that is what is so interesting. if you look at the polls, only about 25% of people are really paying attention to what's going on. i think only 18% or something like that say they know really very well what's happening. and i kind of think what's happening is we've gone from
fiscal crisis to fiscal crisis. it is almost like the boy who cried wolf. people stop paying attention. in this case which looks like could really happen once people are waiting longer at the airport lines, once people are thinking about the concept of the cuts for women and families and thinking about some 1,000 federal fbi agents who might not be able to be really working on national security cuts then maybe the public will start growing in outrage and demand action. >> what was interesting in this new nbc news/"wall street journal" poll they asked what proposals made by the president should republicans compromise on, and pre-k, available for every child, finished ahead of immigration. >> isn't that amazing? >> what are you hearing from your readers? is this even sort of on their radar? >> it is but i think there is a lot to what kelly is saying that there is only so much band width people have for the last-minute fiscal cliff sequestration dramas that get played out in the media.
they are news worthy no doubt. >> this is our fifth drama like this and frankly we're seeing in the polls too people have crisis fatigue. >> i tell you one other thing. i read something very interesting last night. the house of representatives, since the new year, has been in session for almost 60 days. they've been working for 20. now i don't know about you. but i got to go to work five days a week. i have to put in those hours. i'd love a job that had me working half the time. those guys need to get to work, sit down, and compromise. >> i think also we look at the polls right now. more people say they blame the republican controlled congress, right, if these across-the-board budget cuts go into effect. but i have to say as time goes on people are frustrated with both sides, with democrats and republicans and the president and the congress. it is just not the way. we were talking earlier before the segment. you have a lot of companies, private companies already preparing for the possibility of the loss of government contracts, preparing for furloughs. you could have as many as 750,000 jobs lost over the next seven months. that is terrible for all of us
when it comes to the economy and rising unemployment. >> we did learn at the top of the hour that the president has invited the leadership over on tomorrow to come in and talk about sequestration. none of the analysts i'm talking to think it is going to make any difference at all. what do you think is going to happen? >> with 48 hours to go, the clock ticking, tomorrow feels like an eternity. it is a shame that, you know, it is shame that we can't hunker down and come to a conclusion. who knows what is going to happen? my hunch is it is going to be painful. >> you used to cover the white house. you know how things work. >> i don't remember us swinging from crisis to crisis like this years ago when i covered the white house. it seems like the analysts say the across-the-board cuts could go into effect and then we face the possibility of a government shutdown a couple weeks from now. maybe if you start seeing anger at the airports and from women and children with a voice in congress and respective states, governors saying this is not the way to go, they'll feel the crunch. maybe as all those voices swell up there will be more pressure
but it doesn't seem to be having an impact at this moment. >> kelly, leah, always great to have you. thanks so much. today's tweet of the day comes from "time" magazine's senior national correspondent michael grunewald. congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes until deemed dysfunctional. when its keys shall be taken away. he includes a link to a "the washington post" opinion column titled a political dui. ♪
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in just moments president obama and other lawmakers will be on hand for the dedication of the rosa parks statue of the u.s. capitol. the dedication comes as the supreme court hears arguments at this hour on whether to strike down a key provision of the landmark 1965 voting rights act. shelby county, alabama officials claim section 5 of the law is no longer needed, the part of the law telling states any proposed
election change would not discriminate against minority voters. >> one question the supreme court will ask, how much has the south changed? the reference point? bloody sunday, march 7th, 1965. state troopers tossing tear gas, swinging clubs, and leading horses over those wanting to protect the right to vote for african-americans. 600 peaceful protesters were attacked there. that led to president johnson signing the voting rights act, 1965, saying government cannot deny citizens the right to vote based on race or color. that act reaffirmed the 15th amendment. today critics ask if the act causes unjustifiable, unequal treatment of certain states and if it costs states too much to enforce. supporters say district lines are drawn to avoid minority voting blocks and point to last year's voter i.d. laws. 16 states in full or in part
were required to get federal approve before changing voting laws is the way it looked. since then african-americans and state offices increased from under 1% during 1965 to over 18% today. meanwhile the requests by local governments for an exemption to the act has spiked 48 of 48 requests were approved. they were aided by a 2009 supreme court ruling right about there that loosened the rules. and that is when chief justice justice roberts said, quote, when you look at the data back then things have changed in the south and the act raised, quote, serious constitutional questions. some watchers asked does this foreshadow how the high court will lean today? many hope not. they still hope or look at martin luther king after bloody sunday walking from selma, montgomery to guard the right to vote or what he called the foundation stone. on the hill earlier, chris, lawmakers echoed king saying, to remember, and to keep on walking. a ruling is expected in june. >> we will be watching it. thank you so much, richard. thank you for watching. this wraps up this hour of
jansing & company. i'm chris jansing. thomas roberts is up next. >> good morning to you. good morning, everybody. the agenda next hour we'll pick up where you and richard left off with the supreme court right now hearing those arguments over the voting rights act. the justices to watch in this one, roberts and kennedy. and our voting rights experts and nbc news justice correspondent pete williams will join us with developing details from d.c. president obama inviting top congressional leaders on both sides including speaker boehner, nancy pelosi, harry reid, and mitch mcconnell to a meeting at the white house on friday. will the face to face help break the fever over the sequester? we'll take you to rome where the catholic faithful accept the resignation of pope benedict with pomp and circumstance as the conclave of cardinals convenes. how will it script the new chapter for the church declaring a new pope? and every day since, we've worked hard to keep it. today, the beaches and gulf are open for everyone to enjoy. we've shared what we've learned, so we can all produce energy more safely. bp's also committed to america. we support nearly two-hundred-fifty thousand jobs
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